Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery – what war really means

Section60

Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery
Where War Comes Home
By Robert M Poole

Published by Bloomsbury
RRP $29.99 in hardback
ISBN 9781620402931

In the introduction to this book, writer Robert Poole makes the point that the longest war in US history has taken place largely out of sight, the casualties from faraway Iraq and Afghanistan piling up while normal life continued on the home front.

I’m sure Arlington National Cemetery will be familiar to anyone who has visited Washington DC. Its size – 624 acres – accommodates over 300,000 American war dead.

Section 60 is a fourteen-acre plot, where many of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been laid to rest. Sadly several of the newest ‘recruits’ for Section 60 have been brought there by suicide or post-traumatic stress disorder, a war injury newly described but dating to ancient times.

Using this section as a window into the latest wars, Poole recounts stories of courage and sacrifice by fallen heroes, and explores the ways in which soldiers’ comrades, friends, and families honour and remember those lost to war.

This book offers us a sobering reminder of what war really means.

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